Category Archives: Birth chart

A Rebel Prince?

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image16243750And Cancer it is! And a boy. William and Kate – formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – welcomed their new arrival today at 4:24 p.m. London time, according to a press release from Kensington Palace.

Birth charts of babies often mirror those of their parents. William was born at the New Moon in Cancer, and Kate at the Full Moon in Cancer, so my gut feeling was that the baby would be born on the New or Full Moon in July (or maybe late June). William’s mother, Diana, also was a Cancer, and she had Mercury retrograde in Cancer. Baby Cambridge held out until after Mercury returned direct on July 20. However, that means Mercury backed up far enough to form a tense cardinal T-square with Uranus and Pluto. I’ll talk more about that in a minute. But first, let’s look at the “Big Three” – the Sun, Moon, and Rising signs.

The new prince has the Sun at 29 degrees Cancer, Moon at 28 degrees Capricorn, and 27 degrees Scorpio Rising. It’s not uncommon for children to have the Moon in their mother’s Sun sign, and that is the case here. His Moon also is widely conjunct Kate’s lunar South Node, often used in a chart to indicate past lives. He’s got ties with his great-grandmother, too. Queen Elizabeth has 21 degrees Capricorn Rising. Baby Cambridge also has Mercury conjunct Daddy’s lunar North Node, another sign that there’s strong karma in play. His Ascendant also is near the degree of Grandpa’s Sun (that would be Prince Charles). It kind of gives you the sense that this family has been around the incarnational block together a time or two.

Moon in Capricorn can be tough for a child, as it can be shy and reserved, with feelings of isolation, no matter how much love and attention the child may receive. But Moon in Capricorn can also be very wise, with a strong sense of duty and responsibility. Rising Scorpio also can be quiet and introverted, all the more likely with chart co-rulers Mars and Pluto in introverted signs. More importantly, Scorpio is the sign of rebirth and transformation, and this chart strongly suggests a leader who will transform and revolutionize. This could refer to societal institutions and likely the monarchy itself. The baby’s lunar North Node also is in Scorpio. Not only will he play a role in changing society, but it’s his purpose in this lifetime.

Chart for Baby Cambridge

Click on image to enlarge

All of that would be exceptional enough, but this baby’s chart is extraordinary in other ways, as I predicted in my video earlier this year. Not only is he born under a rare and special grand water trine, but there’s also a tense cardinal T-square. A near exact conjunction of Mars and Jupiter forms a bridge between these two very different configurations.

As I mentioned in my weekly forecast, Mars and Jupiter are conjunct not only by latitude but also in declination. In other words, they will be extremely close to each other in the sky, which isn’t always true of conjunctions. This makes the aspect all the more powerful and strongly suggests Baby Cambridge will grow up to be a powerful leader, whether as king or in some other leadership capacity. Historically, this combination in the birth chart of a prince was considered a good sign that he would be a strong king, bringing the country wealth and military might. Queen Elizabeth has a close conjunction of Mars and Jupiter in Aquarius.

Mars and Jupiter also form a cardinal T-square with Uranus and Pluto, although it’s still a bit wide. Mercury, which came out of retrograde in Cancer on July 20, is at a closer angle. Uranus and Pluto are in an epic alignment that will continue through 2015 and is reflected in our turbulent times. All children born this summer will carry the spirit of these times into the future. Born in a tumultuous era of global change, they will have an uncanny ability to transform conflict and impossible problems into dynamic, constructive solutions, in their own lives and for society, too. They will be intuitive and compassionate, but they will not be afraid to shake up the system, whatever form it may be 20 to 30 years from now.

I initially favored July 8 based on an announcement by the palace that the baby was due around the 13th. Turns out that was early. In my video, I did mention the Full Moon on July 22 as a possibility, although it would have made Baby Cambridge a Leo … well, except that the Sun enters Leo just two hours before the Full Moon (4:56 p.m. London time), so technically it was possible to have a Full Moon baby and a Cancer, too! And so it is.

A few days ago, as I was contemplated the possibility of a 29 degree Cancer birth chart, I looked up the Sabian symbol** and got quite a jolt. A Daughter of the American Revolution, with the keyword INHERITANCE. Now, if you read the whole text, it has to do with fiercely maintaining the status quo, no matter what, and Cancer is one of the more traditional signs. But taken in context – an American contemplating conservative American values – it’s hard not to read revolution into this symbol, especially when the chart itself has the unmistakable marks of sweeping change.

[UPDATE 4:47 p.m. PDT] Sabian symbol** for Ascendant 27°08′ Scorpio: The king of the fairies approaching his domain. “This is a symbol of the eternal promise underlying all inner self-realization, since any actual fullness in life is altogether independent of the passing state of affairs in a world of time and space. Implicit in the symbolism is the futility of man’s common reliance on people and things through some mere accident of contact. Outer reality takes the form with which he endows it if he exercises his sovereignty over its various potentials in the creative realms of his own imagination. The keyword is ALLEGIANCE.”

Until recently, British law decreed that the heir to the throne should be the first-born son. The law was changed effective October 2011 so that the oldest child, whether a boy or a girl, would inherit the monarchy. It’s a moot point for now, since the firstborn is a boy. Then, it’s not like this kid is going to get anywhere near the throne anytime soon. After all, Charles is still waiting for Mummy to give it up, and William is only 31. And, for all we know, the monarchy may be on its way out, anyway. Just because England has had a king or queen for more than 1,000 years, doesn’t mean it always will, and judging from this kid’s chart, he will play a pivotal role in the revolutionary years to come.

** From The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Dr. Marc Edmund Jones. The author, an astrologer, channeled this work in 1925 with the help of Elsie Wheeler, a gifted psychic. There’s one symbol one for each degree of the zodiac, and we can use them to gain insight into charts.

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Julian Assange: The Man Behind WikiLeaks, Part II

Having established in Part I that this horoscope describes our man rather well, let’s see what was happening around the times of various WikiLeaks disclosures that rocked the planet.

To start with, WikiLeaks.org was registered on Oct. 4, 2006. This happened at a time when Jupiter and Saturn were forming a square aspect in the sky; the finance-political disaster that is currently holding the globe in its grip was already brewing and about to enter the next stage.

Transiting Jupiter had just crossed Assange’s Ascendant – for him, it was a time to expand and to “come out.” Meanwhile, transiting Saturn was traversing Assange’s tenth house, indicating a time to assume some kind of leadership and to take on great public responsibility. Unfortunately, Saturn in the tenth house can also indicate “falling from a great height.”

In December 2007, WikiLeaks published material pertaining to Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. prison colony that President Obama still hasn’t shut down (to read the analysis of that transit, as well as a more comprehensive timeline, click here). Then, on April 5, 2010, video footage from 2007 was published, showing innocent Iraqi civilians and two Reuter journalists being shot dead from a U.S. Apache helicopter. Photographic images belong to the realm of Neptune, which was forming an active connection to Assange’s Jupiter at the time. Meanwhile, transiting Mars was sitting on his Midheaven, so it’s no wonder Assange gave us images of a war crime.

In the heavens, there was still an opposition between Saturn and Uranus going on, affecting all of us in some way and indicating that the rift between the conservative powers that be (Saturn) and free-spirited, innovative forces of progress (Uranus) was getting wider. On the day of publication, this was highlighted by an explosive Moon/Pluto conjunction in karmic Capricorn. Where the public is concerned, Assange certainly seems to pick his moments.

This trend continued with the publication of the Afghan War Log Files on July 26, 2010. Saturn/Mars and Uranus/Jupiter were opposing each other on the potent equinox axis of 0° Libra/Aries, and all four of them were heated up by Pluto, the planet of extremes.

The real bombshell, however, came on November 28, 2010, with the release of 250,000 cables sent to and from U.S. embassies all over the world. Assange’s chart tells us that he had been sitting on this information for a length of time. Transits suggest that yet another bout of the compelling urge to share bad news with the world had taken place as far back as late September and early October, when Sun, Mercury and Saturn activated Assange’s genial but very uncomfortable and almost compulsively rebellious Sun/Uranus combination.

For once, though, Saturn’s influence may have made him consider the consequences. Going through various possible scenarios, he must have realized that he would create a lot of enmity against himself and his affiliates among a large group of very powerful people. During October, these three planets were moving through Assange’s twelfth house, indicating a time of reflection and of hatching new plans.

On the day of publication, Pluto was exactly conjunct the North Node in Capricorn, the sign of political and financial hierarchy and of karmic debt. The collective was hit by fate big time, and those exposed in the documents may have felt like Judgment Day had arrived.

[headline h=”5″]Sexual Misconduct Charges and Extradition Hearing[/headline]

Meanwhile, Assange was fighting on a different front. Since late August he had a charge of sexual misconduct hanging over his head in Sweden, where he had applied for residency in view of that country’s laws protecting whistleblowers. When he allegedly forced himself on two Swedish women, Venus and Mars were moving across his natal Uranus, indicating the possibility of sudden and short-lived affairs, as well as a compelling drive towards unusual sexual practices. The Sun was traversing his tenth house and opposing his natal Mars; riding on his prominent social status as main speaker at a conference on media and war, his ego was pumped up, and he likely felt unusually strong physical urges as well.

The Swedish authorities on August 21st dropped the charges after one day of investigation. But following a lawyer’s appeal, the case was re-opened on November 18, 2010, an international arrest warrant was issued on November 20th. On that day, the Sun, Assange’s “public status planet,” shed its light on his natal Jupiter, the planet of international affairs and ruler of Assange’s fifth house of romantic involvements.

In giving himself up on December 8, Assange may have succumbed to a fleeting depression, with the Moon opposed his natal Sun. He was released on bail but was put under house arrest. The extradition hearing has been set for February 7 and 8.

As of this writing, the exact time of the hearing hasn’t been published. But assuming that UK courts open at 9 a.m., Uranus, Jupiter and the Moon will be on the Ascendant, which would make the interference of protesters likely (view chart here). The judge, signified by stern Saturn trying to find the correct balance in Libra, will not be stirred by public opinion, as indicated by a Moon/Saturn opposition on the second day of the hearing. We also have a flowing trine aspect between Saturn in Libra and a conjunction of Sun and Mars in Aquarius. The judge will have no problem putting a halt to Assange’s work, blocking his assets, and keeping him under arrest.

No matter what the British judge decides on February 8, with Saturn traversing Assange’s twelfth house, he is shown as Assange’s “secret enemy.” Saturn also indicates that this case, and possibly house arrest and/or incarceration, could drag on until summer 2014.

Meanwhile, the current Jupiter/Saturn cycle of global finances will peak in the last of five oppositions at the end of May 2011. If he hasn’t done so before, I expect Assange to publish the secrets of international banking around that time, or else we might by then be experiencing the global consequences of his revelations.

Helene

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Helene Schnitzer is an astrologer living in Glastonbury, England. Her specialities include Traditional, Horary and Hellenistic Astrology, and Astro*Carto*Graphy. Click HERE to read her full bio.

Julian Assange: The Man Behind WikiLeaks

With his extradition hearing coming up next week, Julian Assange is the subject of today’s guest post by Helene. ~Pat

Julian Assange hardly needs an introduction. Pictures and stories about “The Man behind WikiLeaks” appear on the web, in newspapers, and in national news around the globe.

I will not attempt to unravel his whole life’s story here, like the turmoil of his childhood or his failed marriage. I will concentrate on the context of recent events. Can astrology help us understand what’s happening to him? Are his motives as pure as the snow that Arctic winds are driving past my window right now? Or is Julian Assange an unscrupulous international terrorist? Some interested parties certainly would like us to believe that. I have yet to hear him being called a devil, but then – the label “terrorist” pretty much fits that description, doesn’t it?

Well, let’s start at the beginning. Julian Assange reportedly was born on 3 July 1971, 14:05, in Townsville, Australia (view chart here). This birth time, from a source who contacted The Mountain Astrologer, is only one of several that have been published, but appears to be the most reliable.

Sun and Moon are well connected, which is usually at the basis of a well-integrated personality. The ninth-house Sun points to publishing and foreign countries. This is someone who wants to know what’s going on in the world and who is looking for the bigger picture. Someone like this is usually interested in philosophies, universal belief systems, international relations and politics, to name but a few.

Also – and I bet most of you didn’t know that – in the ninth house the Sun is in its joy, Here, it can happily shine straight from the heart and be the teacher, leader, peacemaker. This area is traditionally called the House of God – read “the Divine” if you wish – and people with this placement often feel their work and their very existence are steered by a higher power meaning to affect large groups of their fellow human beings.

Assange likely wants to share his accumulated knowledge with the family of mankind, a very Cancerian approach. In doing so, he doesn’t mind shocking the recipients of his information, because he is marching to his own drummer and feels driven by a force that is bigger than the individual. The square aspect between Sun and Uranus indicates a multitude of innovative ideas that lead him to act in unexpected, challenging and rebellious ways – and to get himself into trouble doing so.

With Uranus in the eleventh house, these actions likely involve or affect large groups of people, directed at social reform as they are. And last but certainly not least, Uranus is the planet that signifies modern technology, computers and the internet!

Meanwhile, eighth-house Venus in Gemini loves factual knowledge and the power that comes with it, not to mention a good gossip. And if knowledge is power, secret knowledge is even more so! Or, vice versa, secret knowledge revealed may topple unjust powers that be. As we all know by now, Mr. Assange has whole-heartedly embraced that approach.

But that doesn’t mean Assange can’t keep a secret! His Scorpio Moon and the Scorpio Ascendant speak of secrecy and self-sacrifice. Both find secrets interesting and both are capable of keeping them forever. Under this strong influence of highly sensitive Scorpio, we also see a man whose “gut-feelings” may reveal future developments to him long before they actually arrive. Impersonal feelings could be at the basis of his outlook and his actions. This could be the love of truth or compassion for every living being or, conversely, a deep-rooted negativity or fear. Whichever may be the case, the Scorpio Moon forms a tense and active connection with Assange’s Leo Midheaven; there has always been the potential that this man would one day become famous for revealing secret information. This is also a signature for powerful “secret enemies” who can make his public life rather difficult – QED.

Assange’s chart ruler is Mars, situated in the fixed air sign Aquarius in the fourth house. It shows us a man whose actions are determined by carefully applied, logical thinking. The fourth house relates to home and family, and the Ascendant ruler in this position indicates a rather private person. Since Mars also rules the sixth house, this person could be working from home. But here, Mars also forms a tense connection with the Ascendant and indicates an inner controversy between private leanings and public duties, which is further documented by Assange’s first house planets.

With magnanimous Jupiter in the first house, one just isn’t “private,” but often has to fulfill the role of teacher or mentor for others in some way. Jupiter in the first house wants to be seen! Especially with sensitive, compassionate and collective Neptune close by, there is a potential to become a teacher and saviour to the masses. But Neptune often indicates a victim/saviour pattern that can work both ways. One of his biographers recalls from personal experience that Assange “creates an atmosphere around him where the people close to him want to help keep him going” and puts this down to Assange’s charisma. See here first-house Jupiter/Neptune at work!

Interestingly, this latter conjunction is in opposition to natal Saturn. Situated in Gemini and ruling Assange’s third house of communication, this Saturn strongly indicates struggle and conflict around being a “savior” and spreading news. In the seventh house, it promises that Assange’s communications can evoke strong open enmity and even lead to legal consequences – again, QED.

Please note that the Jupiter/Saturn opposition is part of the 30-year cycle between these two planets. Collectively, this cycle describes global economic and political developments. If an individual has one of the pivotal points of this cycle (the conjunction, the square or the opposition) emphasized in their natal horoscope, their life will be strongly affected by it, or he or she will even be involved in shaping related events.

In Part II, we’ll have a look at transits to his natal chart as events unfolded, and I’ll have some predictions for Assange’s extradition hearing scheduled for February 7 and 8.


Helene

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Helene Schnitzer is an astrologer living in Glastonbury, England. Her specialities include Traditional, Horary and Hellenistic Astrology, and Astro*Carto*Graphy. Click HERE to read her full bio.

Ask Real Astrologers: Why Did He Run Away?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Carolina in Bilbao, Spain:

I met a man in Bilbao in November 2008. In a few days we both felt attracted. A short time after that he ran away and never came back in what I think has been an attempt to avoid the depth of his feelings (I guess this, as his Pluto is making a quintile to my Venus). The psychic connection has always been very strong, although he denied it. And yes, we have more lives together than this one in which we share a deep love and companionship. I can’t deny my feelings and the fact is that I’m still longing for him and hoping he’s coming back, although this isn’t doing me any good.

Now my question, how do you understand this quintile Venus-Pluto, and is there any hope for my wish to live this love, according to the astrological point of view? Will he come back ready to live this experience with me? Could it be that this Pluto aspect means that I represent all that he is afraid of and so the possibility for this love to be real is zero?

Carolina, your story is so familiar that I doubt there are few women (or men) out there who haven’t experienced a situation like this at least once in their lives. In fact, I’ve received so many versions of this question that I wrote an article some time ago entitled, “Will He Come Back to Me?” And, while I tend not to take a question more than once in my Q&A column, I feel that I need to revisit this one periodically.

It’s obvious that you have a good knowledge of astrology. Most people don’t even know what a quintile or Vertex are, so I commend you for that. This can be a problem, though, because when you learn about these chart features, you tend to overlook the more obvious aspects in favor of these relatively minor things. They can add to our understanding, but rarely are they the determining factors behind events or relationships.

You are correct that Pluto was on your Vertex at the time you met your love interest. However, there were other, more powerful forces at work that I would consider far weighter. Take a good look at your chart again, and you will see a very dramatic T-square, with transiting Saturn and Uranus opposite one another and square your natal Venus. Moreover, Uranus is exactly conjunct your natal Moon. At the same time, the transiting lunar nodes were on your Ascendant and Descendant – very big.

This tells me that a sudden and upsetting relationship came into your life, and yes, it appears to have been some sort of destiny, and the gentleman in question was someone you “knew” from somewhere else. But frankly, Caroline, I don’t think this was meant to last. Given the dramatic aspects in your transit chart and the strong presence of Uranus – which, by the way, is the ruler of your Descendant – I think this relationship was about awakening your consciousness. Indeed, Uranus often is referred to as the Awakener.

Judging from the stories I hear from clients, it also appears that more and more people are experiencing “other-life” encounters, and I’ve written quite a bit over the past few years about how these encounters are catalysts to propel us to a higher level of consciousness. Usually, these relationships are painful, because that’s the only way to get our attention! Also, it’s well-known in occult studies that pain is a transformer. Not coincidentally, this is concept is strongly associated with Pluto.

Looking at your compatibility chart, I attribute the fast attraction to your Mars in Aries opposite his Pluto, combined with your Moon trine his Mars. These aspects are indicators of powerful passion, and your Aries Mars is going to go for what it wants!

Now, there are lots of other things I could say about your compatibility chart, and in fact you do share some positive connections, along with others that are problematic. That’s beyond the scope of this column, though, and anyway, you asked me specifically about why I think he might have dashed away. I am sorry to tell you this, Carolina, but it appears that your love interest is a bit of a playboy. Women often miss the vital information, especially when they are physically attracted to a man, but I’ll bet if you look back and think about it, you’ll realize that he gave you some vital clues about his intentions.

As for his emotional distance, I’d attribute that to his Moon in Capricorn. These folks feel very deeply but do not easily share their feelings. Add that to his secretive Scorpio Sun, and you’ve got someone who needs to be drawn out carefully, over time. It’s quite possible that he felt exposed with you, because your Moon in Pisces is indeed very psychic.

And that brings me to my last point, which is that your strong psychic connection may have been one-way. In other words, you felt it strongly with him, but he didn’t share it. I know lots about this, because, like you, I have Moon in Pisces. We pick up on the thoughts and feelings of those around us – sometimes without even knowing it – and we also have a strong ability to recognize connections from other lives. We tend to assume that just because we feel it, the other person must, too. But that’s often not the case.

I feel your pain, Carolina, and I’m sure many other readers do, too, as so many of us have been through this experience. My advice to you is to try to understand the experience in a broader context and to learn from it, and do put yourself out there to date other men. I have a feeling you will find someone much more appropriate, with whom you can have a stable and equal partnership.

Much love and many blessings to you, and thanks so much for telling your story.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Ophiuchus: Authoritative Facts About the ‘New Sign’

Maybe Ophiuchus should be a woman? The ‘Snake Witch’ stone from Götland, Sweden, dated 400-600 C.E. Photo by Berig, licensed under Creative Commons.

It just boggles my mind that if you do a Google search for Ophiuchus, you get pages and pages of false information. It may as well be written in stone.

Two weeks ago, if you entered keywords “Ophiuchus astrology,” RealAstrologers came up on the first page of hits. Thanks to last week’s “sign change” fiasco, my articles are buried so deep I can’t find them. In the flood of misinformation are sites devoted entirely to the “new sign,” listing supposed traits, Ophiuchus celebs, and their own astrological fantasies, further confusing those with little or no understanding of astrology.

Fortunately, that doesn’t include you. I’m proud and extremely gratified that most readers of RealAstrologers are sophisticated enough to know that last week’s “big news” was a hoax. I’m also happy to be gaining new readers who are looking for some real facts and authoritative information about the Snake Handler. Continue reading

Ask Real Astrologers: Has My Sun Sign Changed?What About Ophiuchus?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Blake in the United States:

Browsing the Internet today, I saw the excitement over Ophiuchus, the proposed 13th astrological symbol. Since the unofficial addition, the dates for sun signs seem to change … While all this seems so boisterous and asinine I decided to investigate what my proposed “new sign” would be (Sagittarius). Well, it turns out, I relate more to the Sagittarius sign than Capricorn. It’s like I found my “true” sign amidst all this “new information” on star signs.

How do I interpret this? Can your “sign” actually shift or am I projecting my craziness to Jupiter?

Blake, Blake, Blake … How on earth can we even begin to set the record straight when Time magazine is reporting this idiocy as some kind of scientific (read God-given) truth? Continue reading

Ask Real Astrologers: How Do I Interpret Multiple Transits?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Beth in Victoria, B.C.:

When you look at my chart with current transits, you will see something absolutely amazing. All my bells are being rung. Pluto conjunct my Saturn, which forms the final aspect to the Yod in my chart, looks important. Plus the recent and upcoming eclipses affect transiting Pluto conjunct Saturn at the arm of the Yod. I also have a double Grand Cross and a Grand Trine, which are lit up by major transits.

Where can I find an astrologer who can address transits affecting major aspects such as this? Simply discussing one planet’s transit at a time is not going to consider these major aspects.

Beth, you certainly do have quite a bit going on in your chart! Because of the complex interactions between your natal planets, you probably won’t ever be able to get an accurate forecast with a computer-generated report. But, as you note, that’s especially true now, with the cardinal T-square activating several key planets and points in your chart at the same time. No computer report could possibly synthesize all of this information for a reliable forecast.

This is true for just about everyone right now, whether or not you’ve got a chart as complex as Beth’s. As an example, suppose you have Venus in the first few degrees of Capricorn, and you ordered a computer-generated forecast at the peak of the cardinal T-square last August. Your Venus would have been conjoined by Pluto, and squared by Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus. That’s six different interpretations you’d have to read, and some would be contradictory.

Only an experienced professional astrologer can sort through these complexities, and even then, it’s a challenge. Beth, I’m willing to bet that ten astrologers looking at your transit chart would give you ten different interpretations, although there likely would be general areas of agreement.

Another thing to keep in mind is that forecasting becomes much harder when so many aspects are occurring simultaneously, and it’s a challenge even for the most experienced astrologers on the planet. Further, the cardinal T-square of 2010 and, to some degree, this year’s repeat, are unprecedented in our lifetime. That means no living astrologer has witnessed such a planetary configuration. The best we can do is to look to history for clues. You can bet that we’re all taking a lot of notes. This is a living laboratory, to be sure – and we’re all cosmic guinea pigs!

I cautioned my clients last year that, due to the complexity of the T-square, my forecasts were tentative. Nonetheless, clear trends do emerge, even in complex charts like yours.

For example, your natal Sun and Chiron are on the Descendant, a key chart angle, and transiting Neptune and Chiron are sitting right on it. The Descendant is the cusp of the seventh house, which rules close relationships. Neptune and Uranus are in mutual reception, and Uranus and Jupiter are conjunct your natal Venus, the planet of love and relationships. So you can see that relationships are an important theme in your life right now, with extremes and an inability to see your way clearly.

My advice is to look for someone you feel comfortable with and, in New Age parlance, “resonate with.” Even if the astrologer you chose didn’t examine every detail, you could probably count on the synchronicity of the universe to deliver the message you need to hear at this time. It’s funny how that works, and given your Sun-Chiron conjunction, I have a feeling that you always manage to meet up with the right people to carry you further on your path.

Thanks for an excellent and timely question, Beth. I wish you all the best in moving along this year’s fast-moving currents.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Ask Real Astrologers: Why Am I Communications-Challenged?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Edward, somewhere in the vast expanse of Canada:

My Sun is in Pisces, Moon in Aquarius, Mercury in Aquarius, and I am a Gemini Rising. My Mars, however, is in Pisces, too. Often times, I’m quite comfortable with communicating and do so articulately and concisely. I also manage to make extremely persuasive arguments. However, other times, depending on my mood, I get real flustered when faced with problems and I fail to communicate properly. My answers come out as vague and wishy-washy. I am also not very assertive, however I have moments where I can be. How does this relate to my Sun-Moon combination?

Edward, I am really impressed that someone your age knows so much about your chart! I also find it very encouraging that so many young people of both genders are interested in astrology. Maybe there’s hope for the planet.

As a Rising Gemini with Mercury in Aquarius, you should be an ace communicator! You didn’t give me a birth time or place, so I’m missing some important information (a reminder to anyone submitting a question: please include your birth time and location!). I decided to attribute that to Mercury retrograde and take your question anyway, as it’s a good illustration of how Rising Gemini can be affected when your chart ruler is retrograde.

Indeed, that may be one of the answers to your question. Mercury goes retrograde three times a year. If you want to do your own astrology experiment, keep a diary of when you get flustered and can’t communicate, and then see whether there’s any correspondence with the phases of your chart ruler. You also might want to track phases of the Moon, which can affect your mood.

Your combination of Sun and Moon is the reverse of mine (I have Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Pisces), and so I do know something about the challenge of integrating these two. Emotionally, you need to work harder at getting in touch with your feelings. As a writer, I’ve found that communicating clearly depends on clear thinking. In your case, clear communication depends on “clear feeling.” You can’t express your feelings well if you’re out of touch with them.

As for the wishy-washiness, that’s typical of Mars in Pisces. Your Mars also is in fairly close conjunction to Saturn, which puts a damper on the natural assertiveness of Mars. It’s something you’ll just need to be mindful of and work to overcome. This is where astrology is very useful, especially if you start early.

I hope that answers your question, Edward. Obviously, there’s a lot more I could say about your chart, but a total chart interpretation is beyond the scope of this column.

Once again, I think it’s great that you’re curious about astrology. I encourage you to keep studying. Who knows, maybe you’ll want to pursue it as a career!

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Ask Real Astrologers: Does Precession Mean I’m Not an Aries?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Carolyn in Seattle, Washington:

I have always thought of myself as an Aries, my whole life. I was looking at a website that said as of 2009, the sun is in Aries from April 19 to May 15. I have always known it as March 20-April 21 (ish). Does this affect my personal star sign, or does it only matter when I was born, not when my birthday is?

This is a great question, Carolyn, and one I’m asked often. What makes it so confusing is that we’re talking about two separate systems of tracking planetary movements. It’s comparing apples and oranges.

The zodiac is the belt of constellations along the ecliptic, the path the Sun makes in the sky throughout the year. The Sun currently moves through the constellation of Aries from April 19 to May 14, but it is in the sign of Aries from roughly March 21 to April 20. The exact dates vary slightly from year to year. The scientific community observes the movements of the Sun against the actual constellations, while astrologers refer to the Sun in the signs.

As the article you cited in your e-mail explains, this discrepancy didn’t always exist, but arose due to a phenomenon called the precession of the equinoxes. When astrology was first developed thousands of years ago, Aries was on the eastern horizon at sunrise on the spring equinox. But because of the tilt of the earth on its axis, this point has shifted backwards.

To address precession, astrologers in ancient Greece devised a system whereby the sky was divided into 12 parts, with 30 degrees assigned to each sign, starting with 0 degrees Aries on the spring equinox. This is the basis of our popular Western astrology, and it applies to the date you were born and every birthday in your lifetime. Even for those born on the cusp, you are the sign you were born under. That’s why it’s so important to look up your chart and not rely on the dates given in horoscopes in the current year. Further, if you were born on a day when the sign changed, it’s critical that you have your birth time, or you won’t know for sure what sign you are.

Now, at the risk of confusing you further, there are other branches of astrology that use calculations closer to the Sun’s actual path through the constellations. The most widespread of these is Vedic astrology, which is practiced throughout India and other Eastern countries. According to that system, Carolyn, you would be a Pisces from birth.

But unless you want to convert to that system and completely ignore Western astrology, you should consider yourself an Aries and not worry another minute that you’re anything but an Aries.

To anyone who would like to know more about the origins of astrology, I highly recommend the A&E “Ancient Mysteries” series, with Leonard Nimoy as host. You can find it, along with several other recommendations, in the RealAstrologers bookstore (yes, that’s where all my book links went!).

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Ask Real Astrologers: Flopped at Sales, What Else Can I Do?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Jamil in the United Arab Emirates:

I just finished my MBA degree and completed four years in a sales executive career. I was not that successful during it, but because I have built my experience in sales (chemical materials), I am forced to continue in this business. In fact, I am finding that I do not have the sales personality … I want to know what type of career would suit my personality and that I would be creative in.

Jamil, the problem may be in what you are selling and for whom.

Now, before I explain further, I need to mention that your birth time is important in career counseling, and you don’t know yours for sure. The range you provided me makes you either a late Rising Leo or a Rising Virgo. I cast a chart using the average, but it would be better for you to try to get an exact birth time and an in-depth career reading to get the best answer to your question. If your birth time is not available anywhere, you can get what’s called a chart rectification. Using significant events in your life, an astrologer can do an analysis to come up with the likeliest birth time, and then you can test it over time.

For the time being, we’ll assume you have Virgo Rising. Your Sun is in Gemini, and your Moon is in Pisces. Mercury ruled Gemini is a natural salesperson, and with Mercury as your chart ruler, you are heavily influenced by the planet of commerce and business negotiations. In addition, your Pisces Moon allows you to read people intuitively. You know what they want and how to convince them that they want it from you!

However, unless you’re a Rising Leo, you probably don’t want to be an executive but would rather be out on the road, dealing directly with customers. Or, you might consider the marketing angle of sales, which requires Gemini’s great communications skills. Marketing can be a highly creative career.

We also want to look at the sign and house position of your chart ruler, Mercury, which was in Taurus at the time you were born. Instead of chemicals, perhaps you’d enjoy selling organic fertilizers or chemical ingredients for brewing beer (just a thought!).

In any case, with Moon in Pisces, you need to believe in what you’re selling. I would suggest doing some research (something you’re very good at) to find products and services that you believe in and that you believe will help humanity. Virgo tends to be very health-conscious, so if the chemicals you’ve been selling are harmful either to the environment or to human health, you will naturally not feel good about what you’re doing. You might even have sabotaged your career by deliberately not being good at it.

The purpose of this column is to provide quick answers, and that’s what this is. I hope it helps at least a little, but I also strongly recommend that you get a complete workup with a professional astrologer to help you sort out your career dilemma before it goes any further.

Thank you so much for writing, Jamil, and I wish you all the best for finding just the right career match for you.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!